National Day of Solidarity. Solidarity is the word of the moment. Coronavirus has been the defining force of 2020, hugely impacting every area of our lives. In the philanthropic sector, numerous charities and NGOs have been doing what they can to help. And the Swiss population has shown solidarity.
With the shorter, colder winter days, the number of cases is rising exponentially. Coronavirus is creeping back into our everyday reality. It remains the dominant issue. In this context, numerous charitable organisations have mobilised to minimise the impact on people’s lives and counteract its negative effects. The Swiss Solidarity foundation called for a ‘Coronavirus International’ National Day of Solidarity on 22 October 2020. The charity was able to raise 4,016,886 francs. Swiss Solidarity will use the money in collaboration with its partner organisations to help those who have been hit hardest by the pandemic, in particular those in regions wracked by war, natural disasters and other crises. In the spring, Swiss Solidarity succeeded in raising 42,082,840 francs with the ‘Coronavirus Switzerland’ appeal. Numerous other charitable organisations have been active in various capacities throughout the crisis, too.
In May, for example, the Christoph Merian Stiftung made one million francs available for the cause. The money was donated to partner institutions and project partners. The aim was to help provide emergency relief for the social and cultural sectors in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. Another support package of 450,000 francs followed in June. The money for both funds came from the Christoph Merian Stiftung’s umbrella foundation. Stiftung Mercator also reacted to the crisis. By early July, they had provided 40 projects directly involved in coronavirus relief with a total of 1.2 million francs. In a call for papers, they began searching for further projects ‘that addressed the lessons learned from coronavirus and initiated forward-looking developments for society and the environment’. In addition, they ran an ideas lab in the autumn in which small teams developed solutions for problems that the coronavirus crisis had brought to the fore.
Tackling the crisis together
The Z Zurich Foundation provided funding of up to 20 million francs. The charitable organisation belonging to the Zurich Insurance Group pledged this sum to support COVID-19 projects around the world. Fondation Botnar provided the same amount to fund international research with the aim of improving our scientific understanding of COVID-19. In accordance with the Fondation Botnar mission, the money will be invested in new solutions to build a better future for young people. The foundation supports these efforts by promoting the use of existing cutting-edge research facilities in Switzerland.